For many, getting a divorce is a difficult process. Not only do most people suffer through the emotional stress of a relationship breakdown, there are also many other things to deal with such as legal and financial paperwork. If you have children there are additional considerations that need to be made for custody and parental arrangements.
We generally find that those who are separating or divorcing are concerned and unsure of what to expect and how to make plans for their financial future of their family. Our family lawyers understand the desire for this certainty about how the separation will affect their parenting and finances. Our lawyers can walk you through the process and what you need to consider and factors you need to take into account to have the most successful outcome for you and your family.
There are three parts to the divorce process:
To apply for a divorce in Australia you make an application to the Court or Registrar to terminate the Marriage. Some people refer to a divorce as the entire process of separating and dividing assets, however, a divorce itself is quite separate to the division of property and children’s matters.
You must have been separated for 12 months and, if you have children, proper arrangements have been made for the welfare of those, before a court will grant a divorce. Quite often we will help you prepare and apply for the divorce as a part of property settlement and any matters involving the children.
Divorce does not take into account the financial or property settlement so this must be dealt with separately.
To be able to move on and make financial decisions for your future many people want their property settlement with their assets and debts divided to be sorted quickly.
It can be a difficult time when parties cannot agree or really understand what and how the pool of assets should be divided and what the court sees as reasonable or not. Things like initial contributions to a marriage erode over time and become less relevant the longer you are married.
Financial Settlement involves you both entering into a binding financial agreement or consent orders. If the matter cannot be resolved in this way, one party will commence legal proceedings and the matter will go to court.
Our lawyers can assist in providing you concise advice about what your entitlements may be in help you understand what a just and equitable outcome would look like for your circumstances. We can also assist with matters relating to any spousal maintenance that must be paid.
Read more on our property settlement page.
If you have children, the law will help you resolve:
To formalise the care of children and financial arrangements you can enter into a Parenting Plan. This is an informal process yet not enforceable in court. You may have already tried this process and it has not been adhered to. We can assist with drafting a Parenting Plan if you would like to try this process.
The better way generally is to enter into Consent Orders. This is when the parties can agree on the time that each child will spend with each parent but, is enforceable in a court. This requires some negotiation between lawyers to get this right. Consent require both parents to comply with the orders, subject to any subsequent agreed departure from the orders. The good part about these orders is that they allow the parents to jointly (by agreement) make arrangements outside the orders but, you then have the orders to fall back on in the absence of an agreement. It is the option we typically recommend.
If you can’t agree on the time that each parent will spend with the children, following mediation we are very experienced in contested children matters. Many court matters still resolve quickly by agreement or mediation. We work hard to get the matter resolved as quickly as possible for you. If the matter does not resolve it will go to a final hearing.
If you need help sorting through your care arrangements and custody for your children you can speak to a family lawyer about your parenting matter. Contact us today or if you want more information please go to our children page here.
This is a question that many clients would like to know the answer to and have sorted as quickly as possible. The division of assets is either by agreement or through mediation and the Family Law Courts.
If you are trying to reach an agreement, our family lawyers can assist. We have extensive experience and knowledge of the family law court system and how the court’s look at dividing assets between separating couples. Through this experience we can help you make the most informed decision when making your property and financial decisions during divorce.
At PCL Lawyers , we understand that getting a divorce can be a stressful time. Our divorce lawyers are experienced in the multiple aspects that family law entails. We handle every case with sensitivity and empathy. We make sure that proper care and consideration is taken at every step of the divorce proceedings and other aspects of your family law matter. We can meet you in our Melbourne CBD office or one our suburban offices, if more convenient to you.
The family law firm division of our firm is also commercially minded and can provide extensive advice (including creating an action plan) in relation to financial family law matters with family businesses or complex asset pools.
If you’re looking for experienced and savvy Melbourne-based divorce lawyers, you are in the right place. Our lawyers have extensive knowledge of family law and will handle your matter with sensitivity, respect and care. We understand that divorce cases are sensitive by nature and that every case has its own unique circumstances. We’ll work closely with you to understand your needs and strive to achieve the best outcome for you and your family during your divorce proceedings.
In order to finalise a marriage in Australia an Application for Divorce needs to be made to the Federal Circuit Court of Australia. This is a largely procedural step and is one that is quite different to the parenting, property and child support matters of your family.
Before you can apply for a divorce in Australia you need to be separated from your partner for a period of 12 months. This means that you must have lived separately and apart for a period of 12 months and that during this time one, or both, of you considered that the relationship had broken down.
It is possible for you to be separated and living under the same roof and still obtain a divorce. This is proven by filing an affidavit setting out that you have both been separated but living under the same roof for, usually, financial reasons.
The marriage also needs to have been ongoing for a period of two years at the date of the Application for Divorce. If you have not yet been married for a period of two years then you need to show the Court that you have either attempted to attend family counselling together or show reasons, such as the existence of an intervention order, that mean you should not have to attend counselling.
Provided you have been separated for a period of 12 months and have been married for more than two years you will be able to apply for a divorce. The application is completed by one of our solicitors online and once you have read through and agree with the application the application is signed before an authorised witness, such as a lawyer or a justice of the peace. This is then filed, or sent to, the Court and a date is set.
On the hearing date you will not usually need to attend. Provided the requirements are met, such as being separated for 12 months, a Registrar will make a divorce order that is effective in one month and one day from the hearing. This will then be provided to us electronically and we can give it to you. This divorce order confirms that the marriage has officially ended.
Our firm is very experienced in divorce applications and we can usually fix our fees for this service, providing you with certainty on the price.